The African Development Bank has named a Kenyan shoe designer as winner of its Fashionomics Africa competition, which supports producers of sustainable fashion.
Pine Kazi converted pineapple leaf and recycled rubber into fashionable footwear to win the prize, AfDB stated on Tuesday.
The bank stated, “Pine Kazi, which converts pineapple leaf and recycled rubber into fashionable footwear, won the $2,000 Fashionomics Africa competition cash prize.”
The business would have the opportunity to showcase its creation in online events, share insights on key sustainability challenges facing the industry and receive a certificate, it added.
The brand, co-founded by Olivia Okinyi, Angela Musyoka and Mike Langa, will also have access to media opportunities and receive mentoring and networking opportunities from competition collaborators, AfDB said.
“Pine Kazi is greatly humbled to be the winners of the first Fashionomics Africa contest in Africa. This is indeed an honour to the Kenyan people and the African continent at large,” said Okinyi.
Musyoka added, “All our dreams can come true if we have the courage and the patience to pursue them.”
The Fashionomics Africa contest honours African fashion brands working to change how fashion is produced, bought, used and recycled, to encourage more sustainable consumer behaviour.
“We were pleasantly surprised by all the applications received for the first edition of our Fashionomics Africa competition. It was very difficult to make a choice, but the finalists stood out with their innovative, durable and contemporary designs,” the coordinator of the Fashionomics Africa initiative at AfDB, Emanuela Gregorio, said.
Division Manager at the Bank’s Gender, Women and Civil Society Department, Amel Hamza, said, “What we learned from this Fashionomics Africa contest, in this month celebrating women around the world, is that many women entrepreneurs are advocating for sustainable production and consumption, and we commend their efforts.”
The shoes are 100 per cent handmade to reduce carbon footprint and can last three years, Pine Kazi added.
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